Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

Goats at Lizard's Mouth? title=
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?
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By Robert Bernstein

Goats at Lizard's Mouth? Laura Dookie lives just over the mountains from Santa Barbara and has a pair of goats Jeff and Jack who she loves to share with other people. She says the goats make her happy and I have to say Laura, Jeff and Jack made us happy, too!

She has this group on Meetup called Santa Barbara Pack Goat Adventure Group:

Some of her goats outings are substantial hikes. But she has added some Sunday sunset outings at Lizard's Mouth for those who just want to have fun with the goats in a beautiful spot. And we decided to check it out!

Here is my full video playlist of this little outing and here are all of my photos.

Here Laura unpacked Jeff and Jack from her little truck as her niece watched.

This is not a great photo, but I wanted to show the young man with the GOAT top who came by just as we were gathering the group. A total coincidence! They knew nothing about the goat event and were just passing by.Here Laura educated us about goat teeth as we gathered. She showed how in front they only have upper teeth with none below to match them! Way in the back of their mouths they do have matching teeth to grind their food.Soon, we were on our way. We entered at the main entrance near the Winchester Gun Club. After following the trail a few minutes we were in the wonderful playground of rocks that is Lizard's Mouth. This next video shows our little group as we made our way up the back of the actual Lizard to the nose of the Lizard.

You can see the goats stopping to nibble the chaparral along the way. Jeff and Jack are fraternal twins as they are from the same litter. Jeff has more black fur than Jack. Jack got something up his nose and started sneezing near the end. You can see Laura try to help him.

Since one of the people in our group had never been to Lizard's Mouth, I suggested we descend to below the nose of the Lizard so they could see the mouth of the Lizard in all its glory! Here you can watch Jeff then Jack make it down the rocks.

I was in awe of how they can do this with no fingers or toes to grab onto things! Laura pointed out that they actually do have a kind of thumb behind and above their hoof that is very strategic for grabbing on. These are Alpine goats native to the French Alps. Very used to climbing!

And here was the rewarding view of the actual mouth of the Lizard!Here you can watch the reverse process as the goats climbed back up from below the mouth.

Next, Laura let me pose with Jack. I passed Jack over to Isobel who is visiting from England. And then my wife Merlie came down and Laura captured us together with Jack.

I learned a very important lesson and was glad I did not have to learn it the hard way: These goats are very friendly and tame. But the one thing they don't like is if you touch their horns. Fortunately, Jack held no ill will toward me when I briefly made that mistake!

I should also note that Merlie has had a number of careers in her life and has traveled much of the world. But her last career before coming to stay in the US was as a goat herder!

The next video is a merge of two wonderful scenes. In the first scene, Laura leads the goats past the mouth of the big cave as I stood inside. The moment they passed the mouth of the cave with the sunset behind them was truly breath taking for me!The second scene is where Laura leads the goats to a small and beautiful cave and coaxes them inside. I was delighted when Jack nuzzled close to me and posed for the camera!Here is the video.


The final video is a merge of three scenes. In the first scene Jeff rubs his horns on the chaparral.

Laura explained this is to soften it up to make it easier to eat. In the second scene Jack poops on top of the nose of the Lizard as Laura tells a story of a previous pooping incident while camping with them!

And the final scene shows us all descending the final time from the nose of the Lizard as other visitors watch.

Here you can see Jack looking at me as he and Laura pose on the nose of the Lizard.Feel free to join the Santa Barbara Pack Goat Adventure Group Meetup and you will be notified of upcoming events with Laura, Jack and Jeff!

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sbrobert Jan 30, 2022 11:13 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

The goat adventure is a delight and I am so happy that you got to share it with Laura, Jeff and Jack, LITTLEBABY!

And thank you for making the point about the value of goats nibbling the chaparral as a way to reduce the fire danger. Laura will be up at Lizard's Mouth again this afternoon at 4:00PM!

LittleBaby Jan 24, 2022 08:57 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

We took the kids up there yesterday and it was so fun! Laura is very friendly and knowledgeable, and Jeff and Jack were perfect gentlemen. Lizard's Mouth is a great hiking spot to begin with, and it was fun to watch the goats climbing around and eating bits of grass and leaves. They are helping to minimize wildfire danger in the area (although you would need hundreds of goats to make it reasonably safe).
If you see another opportunity like this, I say take it!

a-1642611828 Jan 19, 2022 09:03 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

The GOAT sweatshirt probably refers to a current sports usage: Greatest Of All Time, not the animal. FYI

Swankyguy Jan 19, 2022 06:08 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

a-1642530374 You must have come unglued when fire chewed through 440,000 acres a couple years ago

ZeroHawk Jan 18, 2022 03:05 PM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

Hey I've met them before! I took the kids up to red rocks last spring break (btw we were the ONLY ones there for about 5 hours!!!) On our way back to the truck we met the goats, same ones, Jack and Jeff i think were their names. Very cool indeed....love goats.

EastBeach Jan 18, 2022 11:07 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

Very cool! I sometimes see bighorn sheep while hiking in the desert southwest and learned goat tails usually point upwards while sheep tails point downwards. Jack and Jeff are definitely the upwards variety :)

a-1642530374 Jan 18, 2022 10:26 AM
Goats at Lizard's Mouth?

"You can see the goats stopping to nibble the chaparral along the way"

Um, is eating the chapparal and good and appropriate idea in a wilderness setting? Maybe they're not doing any major eating, but I'm just wondering.

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